Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and ten other bestselling thrillers. He also writes non-fiction books like The First Conspiracy, about a secret plot to kill George Washington – and the Ordinary People Change the World kids book series. His newest thriller, The Escape Artist, debuted at #1 on the bestseller list. Brad is also responsible for helping find the missing 9/11 flag that the firefighters raised at Ground Zero, making national news on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Former President George H.W. Bush also gave Brad, for the very first time, the secret letter he left for President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office desk. If you need a good cry, read this story about Brad reading to President Bush before he died. The Hollywood Reporter put him on their list of the 25 Most Powerful Authors, and he’s been asked to serve as a member of the America250 Council, to celebrate the upcoming 250th birthday of the country.
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- “Stories aren’t the beauty of what did happen. They’re the beauty of what could happen.”
- “For me, Superman’s greatest contribution has never been the superhero part: it’s the Clark Kent part – the idea that any of us, in all our ordinariness, can change the world.”
- The 3 things he tells his kids each night when he tucks them into bed:
- Dream Big – Young people have the biggest and best dreams.
- Work Hard – Your first book got 24 rejection letters. And in your TED Talk, you share the story of your Dad and how hard he worked (maybe open with this?). When you were writing your 9th book, your book of heroes for your soon. A story about The Wright Brothers… Every time The Wright Brothers would go out to fly their plane, they would bring enough extra materials for multiple crashes. Every time they went out, they knew they would fail. And they would crash and rebuild, and crash and rebuild. And that’s why they took off.
- Stay Humble – Noone likes a jerk. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he never took credit for it. It was announced when he died and it was in his obituary.
- All history ever is, is a bunch of stories. How to change history, all you have to do is write your story. History is a selection process. It chooses every single one of us, every single day. You will change history.
- “Brad’s meticulous research and interviews with top-level government sources — including U.S. Presidents — fill each page with authenticity and make his characters come alive.”
- His belief is that ordinary people change the world. It is that core belief that runs through every one of his projects.
- How to respond from rejection? Brad’s first book was rejected 24 times… And then later that book went on to become a bestseller.
- As a culture, we’re starving for heroes
- “We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day.”
- “There’s nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood. And understanding someone else.”
- “In this world, there was nothing scarier than trusting someone. But there was also nothing more rewarding.”
- “No matter how far we come, our parents are always in us.”
- “The worst lies in life are the ones we tell ourselves.”
- From Brad’s book to his daughter: “As your father, my instinct is to protect you … Other people will want to protect you too. But remember that you are not a damsel in distress, waiting for some prince to rescue you. Forget the prince. With your brain and your resourcefulness, you can rescue yourself.”
- “You need to understand something… In this world, we’re not humans having a divine experience. We’re divine beings having a human experience.”
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